But what about doing both?
That’s the idea behind a director’s commentary track on a DVD, but rarely are we afforded the same insight with the cinematographer. Instead we have to turn to interviews separate from the visuals in magazines, on websites, and through behind-the-scenes docs.
Not anymore thanks to cinematographer Stephen Murphy who’s created a series of “personal study documents” – PDF files that compile quotes from a particular cinematographer placed next to stills from their cinematic efforts. Now we’re able to look at the frames of a cinematographer’s film while pairing it with their opinions on how they did it, why they did it, and what it means.
With this juxtaposition, you get a better sense of the effect lighting has on the story and finished film.
And today Stephen has allowed The Black and Blue to share an exclusive 85-page case study of the work of Janusz Kaminski, ASC. Kaminski is known mostly for working with Steven Spielberg and having lensed films like Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, A.I., and Lincoln.
Preview of the Case Study Document:
On Stephen’s blog you can download more collections he’s made for various cinematographers:
Here’s what Stephen had to say about them:
I’ve been making a conscious effort in my downtime over the last year to take a closer look at some of the cinematographers who were particularly influential on me as I was learning my craft. Re-reading interviews with them and studying their work, I’ve collected quotes and images into a document that I can refer back to.
The process of examining their work frame by frame has proved to be hugely beneficial to me, and these documents are just a byproduct of that process, but I’ve been sharing them on my blog stephenmurphydop.blogspot.com for anyone else who might find them useful.
Stephen’s also shares awesome links on his blog and writes great articles about projects he’s worked on featuring lighting diagrams, sample stills, and behind-the-scenes camera goodies. So once you’re done going through the case study docs, I highly suggest you give Stephen’s archives a read as well.
Thanks to Stephen for letting us share his work and sending it our way!